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Old 10-16-2011, 11:07 PM   #31
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GFCI trips at the same time


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
In this posting you said the only thing on the UPS is the router and switch. Move these two devices to some other circuit using an extension cord or what ever but leave the UPS on the GFCI. This way you will have a load on the GFCI and also, originally, the UPS wasn't in the game.
The router, switch and UPS are all approximately 2 months old. 2 months ago, a thunderstorm rolled through and blew my switch. At that point, I purchased the UPS and switch. Shortly after that, I updated my internet and received a new router. I do have other equipment connected to the UPS (VOIP box, Printer, Computer), but all are powered off.

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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Now, is the UPS the only thing on the GFCI? You said you replaced the GFCI so the question is, are there any wires connected to the load side of the GFCI?
Nothing on the load side.

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Old 10-16-2011, 11:20 PM   #32
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
Why would "intermittently" be exactly between 5:15am and 5:45am and NO OTHER TIME?
Note: The UPS probably has built in surge protection...

As to voltage surges happening at a certain time, businesses and industrial electric customers get reduced electric rates for using electricity during "off peak" hours. So they have things on timers to turn them on/off during certain hours. Peak time in my area starts at 6:00 am.

Also it could be many customers with things set to turn on or off at the same time. Or even 100,000 people turning on their coffee makers at the same time!

FYI - Here is a GFCI diagram. The center ring detects electricity flowing inside it. Hot and neutral oppose each other, so no electric flow detected normally. But if some electricity goes to ground, or test button pressed, then an "imbalance" occurs and the GFCI is tripped.

http://www.diychatroom.com/attachmen...schematic1.jpg
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:00 AM   #33
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
Why would "intermittently" be exactly between 5:15am and 5:45am and NO OTHER TIME?
As other mention some of med / large commercal / industrail customers have large equiment that can wreck hovac on the POCO sytem I know from my expernice in Wisconsin we have very large recycle plant { they have huge shreadder } every time before they fire up big 7500 HP motour they have to call the POCO to boost the voltage a bit to compersied the starting surge so that one possiblty you may have simauir situation.

Otherwise the POCO capaitour bank switching in or out that can cause surge as well I have see it often when they do switch out after 1600 { 4 PM } and switch back at 0600 so that two spot I know it will show up in Wisconsin but in France most common surge time will be 1600 or 1700 { UK are famous for that }

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Old 10-17-2011, 12:56 AM   #34
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GFCI trips at the same time


I can't believe I forgot to mention this. Around the same time I started noticing my GFCI was tripping in the basement, my GFCI started tripping in my garage. I had a Surge Protector in my garage hooked up to the GFCI with a dust buster plugged into the surge protector. I unplugged my surge protector in my garage and I don't recall having a single trip since then.

Also, around the same time I started noticing the tripped GFCIs, Nicor built a facility about 2 blocks from my house. I wonder if they have something going on around 5am every day.

I'm starting to think that all 3 are somehow related.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:59 AM   #35
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Ok, so let's assume that its a near by facility that is wreaking havoc in my house. Since a GFCI outlet is required by code, what are my options? I have a feeling that I can't just walk up to the Nicor building and say "hey, you're tripping my GFCIs in my house... knock it off.".
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:13 AM   #36
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GFCI trips at the same time


Quote:
Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
Ok, so let's assume that its a near by facility that is wreaking havoc in my house. Since a GFCI outlet is required by code, what are my options? I have a feeling that I can't just walk up to the Nicor building and say "hey, you're tripping my GFCIs in my house... knock it off.".
Not excatally that kind of approch but if you talk to the POCO ( Power Companie ) they can able help you with the surging situation you have going on and they can put their own recording device and read it for next couple days and they can able determed to slove the issue much as possible.

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Old 10-17-2011, 04:20 AM   #37
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GFCI trips at the same time


Three things:
1: I think you should try plugging your UPS into a non-GFCI receptacle for a few days. Use an extension cord if you need to. Check the log files for the UPS around that time of day, and look for any events. If our suspicions about the line voltage spiking excessively high and triggering the surge suppression are correct, then the UPS will probably transfer to battery power and log an event when that happens. You will not have seen this in the logs yet, because the GFCI has been tripping and causing an outage. If you can confirm that there is actually a recurring power quality anomaly at that time every day, then we know we've identified the problem and can work on a solution. If your UPS logs the actual line voltage, that would be really cool to know. I had a cheap APC unit that did, so maybe yours does too.

2: If your UPS logs can verify a recurring power quality anomaly at that time in the mornings, then you probably should contact your power company. It takes a pretty darn high voltage (330V) to trigger the MOV's in most surge suppressors, and it's very hard on them. They are not intended to actually absorb surges on a regular basis. I would say that whole-house surge suppression would be the likely solution to your problem, but if it's going to be triggering every morning it won't last very long. Besides, the power company should pay for it anyway if they're not delivering clean power.

3: Westom: All of your statements about the function of GFCIs and power surges are correct. However, you're forgetting one very important thing and it's throwing you off track (and incorrectly making you think the rest of us are wrong): Surge suppression works by shunting current to ground. MOV's are devices that begin conducting when the voltage across them exceeds a certain value. They are connected between the hot, neutral, and ground conductors. If the voltage between any conductor and ground exceeds the MOV's design voltage, it conducts and clamps the line voltage, preventing damage to the downstream equipment. Of course, this will trip any GFCI since the clamped surge current returns on the grounding conductor. This is why we all believe the equipment is not defective, it's just two different protective systems doing their jobs. The MOV's clamp the surge, shunting current to ground. The GFCI detects the missing current and trips. This is the only explanation that accounts for the regularity of the events. The interaction of surge suppression and GFCI's is also a well known problem.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:44 AM   #38
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Ok, so let's assume that its a near by facility that is wreaking havoc in my house.
In a previous post, I noted at least 50 reasons for only one of many possible failures. When hard facts do not exist, another 1000 possibilities can create a "War and Peace" novel. You are rationalizing a simple problem to death by inventing what cannot happen, what is not relevant, and what would be unlikely. Do the experiment.

Buy a plug from Lowes. And two 100 Kohm (1/4 or 1/2 watt) resistors from Radio Shack (part number 271-1131). Connect two (or three) 100 Kohm resistors from the plug's hot prong to its safety ground prong. When that plug is connected to the GFCI circuit, then leakage will be about 2 (or 3) milliamps. Not enough to trip a GFCI. But maybe enough to trip that GFCI when a defective appliance (or defective wire in the wall) is also powered by that circuit.

We could write another novel just from the many trivial and nearly impossible reasons for a GFCI trip. How many more chapters do you want? Do you really want to read them all? Do the experiment to eliminate or identify over 99% of the reasons for that GFCI trip. Stop trying to discover all 1000 reasons including the 100 that are actually possible. Nothing useful can be concluded when facts are subjective.

Do the experiment. Eliminate chapters of wild speculation by having numbers. Only then will relevant details emerge.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:50 AM   #39
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
MOV's are devices that begin conducting when the voltage across them exceeds a certain value. ... The MOV's clamp the surge, shunting current to ground. The GFCI detects the missing current and trips.
Surges exceeding 330 volts occur typically once every seven years. Are microsecond events. To trip a GFCI, that one surge must be tens of milliseconds. A millisecond surge means plenty of damaged appliances including GFCIs. Please stop inventing possibilities that can exist only by ignoring important numbers such as microseconds verses milliseconds. Your reasoning is correct ONLY if we ignore those numbers.

Do the experiment now to have facts not invented by subjective reasoning and wild speculation.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:16 AM   #40
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by westom View Post
. Not enough to trip a GFCI. But maybe enough to trip that GFCI when a defective appliance (or defective wire in the wall) is also powered by that circuit.
There are no downstream outlets powered by this GFCI (thus no other appliances). The GFCI is mounted directly to the breaker box, is the only outlet on the breaker and the wire feeding the outlet is maybe 12 inches long. I'm not sure it can be any other appliances or the wiring.

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Old 10-17-2011, 08:31 AM   #41
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GFCI trips at the same time


It seems that the only times your GFCI are tripping, is when you have a surge protector plugged into it, right?

So get an expensive whole house surge protection unit, and install it at your panel! Ahead of the GFCI units.

That should clear up the problem.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #42
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GFCI trips at the same time


My UPS has a sensitivity setting. It is defined as:
Quote:
It is to control the sensitivity of the UPS to switch to Battery Mode by selecting UPS shutdown voltage range. The higher the sensitivity, the easier the UPS will switch to Battery Mode.
My options are as follows:
  • Low Sensitivity (78-142Vac) - (Not recommended for computer loads).
  • Medium Sensitivity (88-139Vac)
  • High Sensitivity (88-136Vac)
And yes, it does have surge protection built in.

Below is a brief description:
Quote:
The CP850PFCLCD/CP1000PFCLCD provides complete power protection from utility power that is not always consistent. The CP850PFCLCD/CP1000PFCLCD features 1030 Joules of surge protection. Both units provide long lasting battery backup during power outages with maintenance free batteries.

AUTOMATIC VOLTAGE REGULATOR
The CP850PFCLCD/CP1000PFCLCD stabilizes inconsistent utility power voltage to nominal levels that are safe for equipment. Inconsistent incoming utility power may be damaging to important data files and hardware, but with Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR), damaging voltage levels are corrected to safe levels. AVR automatically increases low utility power and decreases high utility power to a consistent and safe 110/120 volts. If incoming utility voltage drops below 90 volts, or exceeds 140 volts the units automatically switch to battery back-up power.
Attached is a diagram of the system.
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GFCI trips at the same time-system-functional-block-diagram.png  
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:56 PM   #43
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GFCI trips at the same time


Quote:
Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
Ok, so let's assume that its a near by facility that is wreaking havoc in my house. Since a GFCI outlet is required by code, what are my options? I have a feeling that I can't just walk up to the Nicor building and say "hey, you're tripping my GFCIs in my house... knock it off.".

At the above link and the Oregon exceptions to the NEC it says...

[Exception No. 1 to (2): A single receptacle for each appliance within a dedicated space that, in normal use, is not easily moved from one place to another, that is cord-and-plug connected, and the receptacle is labeled as “not GFCI protected.”]

Perhaps your computer could fit into that exception? It is mainly intended for something like a refrigerator or freezer. Or you could ask that they re-word the exception to also include a computer.

Ask your local electrical inspector.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:53 PM   #44
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by westom View Post
Buy a plug from Lowes. And two 100 Kohm (1/4 or 1/2 watt) resistors from Radio Shack (part number 271-1131). Connect two (or three) 100 Kohm resistors from the plug's hot prong to its safety ground prong. When that plug is connected to the GFCI circuit, then leakage will be about 2 (or 3) milliamps. Not enough to trip a GFCI. But maybe enough to trip that GFCI when a defective appliance (or defective wire in the wall) is also powered by that circuit.
How do I measure the leakage? So, what does this test tell me? Does this only test the GFCI? You mention 50 other ways to find the culprit, but the culprit may be one of the devices. How do I test the devices?
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #45
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GFCI trips at the same time


Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post
Surges exceeding 330 volts occur typically once every seven years. Are microsecond events. To trip a GFCI, that one surge must be tens of milliseconds. A millisecond surge means plenty of damaged appliances including GFCIs. Please stop inventing possibilities that can exist only by ignoring important numbers such as microseconds verses milliseconds. Your reasoning is correct ONLY if we ignore those numbers.

Do the experiment now to have facts not invented by subjective reasoning and wild speculation.
Well, since you're the one proffering these "numbers" to refute our proposed explanation, the onus is on you to provide a reliable source for your data. Post some links to reliable sources. Until then, I'm going to operate on some different assumptions: surges sufficient to trigger the MOV's may happen regularly if there are serious utility power quality problems; If the surge is utility-created, the duration will be more like tens of milliseconds (a full 60Hz cycle or two) than microseconds (lightning induced); GFCI's are inverse-time devices and can trip very quickly if the detected fault current is well above 5mA.

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